Shaolin Warrior Qi Gong
The Shaolin Monastery is the birthplace of modern Kung Fu (Gong Fu) and Chinese Buddhism. Before Buddhism came to China, the Shaolin tradition was one of Chan (Zen) meditation, higher university learning on many subjects, Qi Gong, and Martial Arts. Over time, and for many reasons, the Shaolin monks became some of the most effective warriors in the history of the world.
Today, Shaolin monks travel the world demonstrating incredible feats of human physical capacity and internal body control. No, I am not suggesting you need to learn to fight or try and do backflips. I am aware, however, that healthy lean muscle mass is the number one indicator of health in your elder years, rate of aging later in life, as well as actual lifespan. Although most Qi Gong exercises look very relaxed and effortless, they will keep you fit because they activate, stretch, and tone almost every muscle in your body. Shaolin Warrior Qi Gong is a very effective and enjoyable way to strengthen your muscles, nerves, and bones, as well as ensure you do not lose your muscle mass as you age.
If you think of your Qi and Meridians, like electricity and the thickness of a wire, the more abundant your ‘wires’ the stronger the Qi you can experience. This is especially true if you are a Healer. Your meridians are made of and do many things. The vaster amount of what your meridians physically become and what limits their function is your muscles, tendons, blood vessels, and fascia. Lengthening and strengthening all of these tissues equally and simultaneously is one of the healthiest forms of Qi Gong for the health of the structural aspects of all of your meridians.
In Traditional Chinese medicine, the health of your organs, your ability to repair your body in every way, your ability to make healthy babies, and build bigger muscles is determined by the health of your Jing – your Essence. The inner Mojo ‘stuff’ that makes us feel sexy and invincible. Jing speaks to the function of all of your hormones, stress, sex, growth and repair hormones, your neurotransmitters (substances of feeling, experience, and communication), all of your enzymes – which are literally physical toolkits that make digestion, metabolism, and molecular transformation (Qi) possible.
Jing can be thought of as two bank accounts.
The first is the internal adaptive resources (Jing) that your body built, created the capacity for, and stored in many ways. It is referred to as Pre-Heaven Jing or Xian Tian Jing and is expressed and Pre-Heaven Qi. That is a deep subject, but for most Qi Gong practices, the thing to know is this innate potential for growth, fertility, repair, adaptability is stored by your Kidneys in your bones, marrow, and your physical brain. You want to leave it in the bank as long as possible. If this Jing is taxed from a chronic illness, it takes months or years of very thorough Qi Gong practice, Diet, Herbs, and some form of treatment support to restore it back to normal. After 40 years of age, this process takes longer. After 60 years, this should be your lifestyle just out of common sense. As the body ages, the bank account itself shrinks, so the longer you maintain abundant Jing, the more fun you can have with your friends and family in the last weeks of your life.
There is also your Post Heaven Jing, which is the outcome of your genetics, your childhood nutrition, and your environment. This ‘after you were born’ Jing is called Hou Tian Jing, which is the source for your day-to-day Qi. Again, big subject. Luckily for Qi Gong practice, you just need to know that this Jing is present and functioning at an energetic and ‘blood test’ level, in every organ, tissue, function, and cell.
It is expressed every second, boosted by optimal diet, rest, and hydration, limited by every erosive habit or condition of your life.
This is a kind of survival Jing that needs to feel confident and ready to face the world.
This aspect of Jing is also stored in your bones, marrow, and brain as well, but in a more superficial way. In a modern context, your Innate Jing (pre-birth) is a savings account, and your Organ Jing – (post-birth) is your checking account.
The Shaolin Monks, as well as the Daoist Alchemists, were not only interested in Martial arts and Meditation, they also studied and practiced longevity, and what we call today ‘nutritional biohacking’ and neuroplasticity optimization, specifically for their quality of conscious attention, and for the additional years of meditating on existence. The famous Shaolin Bone Density and Bone Marrow Washing practices are the most potent fertility and longevity Qi Gong practices, at least from a clinical perspective.
As a teacher of Qi Gong teachers, I make sure that everyone I can go through these practices for their own safety as Qi Gong practitioners. Rearranging and restoring the structure and function of all of your connective tissues and circulation, and all of your meridians is like building a city. From the ground up. These practices are demanding, very high level, and are only taught when people are ready for this degree of Mind, Body, Meridian, Jing, Connective Tissue (Jin), and Breathwork transformation. These practices are Monastic Rites of Passage and are meant to prepare a person for a century of daily immersive meditation practice.
These forms of Qi Gong should not be undertaken lightly, or without experienced supervision.
- Restore Your Core Qi Gong – before rebuilding all your postural muscles, making sure that all your core muscles are firing, toned, flexible, and integrated in a dynamic way, for both movement and breathwork. Sitting in chairs is expensive for your Jing bank accounts. If you want to help the world, teach a Qi Gong class focused on core stability and mobility. It could become ‘a thing.’
- Muscle Tendon Change (Yi Jin Jing) – every year I recommend that you get as strong as possible for three months, safely and with whatever support you need for optimizing this process. This Qi Gong practice, sometimes called ‘Contractile Tissue (Muscle Tendon) Transformation Qi Gong’, will completely restructure your posture, alignment, muscle tone, core tone, breath capacity, physical strength, lean muscle mass, available Human Growth Hormone (HGH- an expression of both Jing), circulation, blood pressure, and base metabolic rate (BMR). This practice includes some special dietary requirements, massage protocols, and herbal liniments to rejuvenate EVERY muscle, tendon, and fascial membrane throughout every structure and cell of your whole body.
- Shaolin Warrior Strength Training –
- Bone Marrow Washing (Xi Sui Jing)will be introduced and combined with other forms and practices you already know. After learning all the Inner Cultivation practices and processes, which is another Monastic Rite of Passage, you will learn the Ba Gua Mother Palms Qi Gong A beautiful and energizing practice of walking in circles, having conversations with your meridians, connective tissue, Jing, Qi, and your Bones and Marrow. This practice combined with yearly Yi Jin Jing practice, and regular Zhang Zhuang, extended standing meditation, are a proven recipe for better bone density
- Shaolin and Daoist Breathwork – is going to become the backbone of your deeper Dao Yin and Nei Gong practice. This is a good time on your journey as a student or teacher to learn more advanced Breathwork. Breathwork alone is a popular as Yoga and Qi Gong because it is the most potent tool that the human body has for self-regulation and self-transformation. I recommend a few months of Tortoise Breathing, then some Embryonic Breathing to take you into stillness and your Inner Landscape (Nei Jing). Then a few deep dives into Martial Fire Breathing Wu Huo Hu Xi – to shift your conscious state and potentially activate your Pineal Gland. These practices are also Monastic Rite of Passage level things to undertake and also Monastic level effective at maximizing your Neuroplasticity, restring the baseline function and state of our Vagus Nerve, your Central Nervous System (CNS), Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS), and your Polyvagal Survival/Trauma System (PVS). Going through a meditation and Breathwork Rite of Passage is the best way to feel the benefits of adding to both of your Jing bank accounts. As practitioners and teachers of playful conscious movement, tools for actively preventing cognitive decline are just wisdom in action.
- 49 Day Chan (Zen) Seated Practice – I feel that Rites of Passage are a missing link in modern life and modern Meditation and Qi Gong. My teachers were very old school, for the most part, so I resonate with their clear intention on my behalf when they made me do these things, over and over. I share their intention by recommending you invest in your Jing Bank Account, your Gong – capacity and skill, and your Qi sensitivity with this 49 Day Seated Meditation practice.
At this level of practice, and with a focus on the specifics, Qi Gong often becomes a more Seasonally focused endeavor.
- In Winter build your bones marrow, Brain/Mind, and Jing.
- In Spring build your tendons and Jin (muscles and fascia contractile capacity).
- In Summer improve your circulation and Qi Hua (circulation and metabolism).
- In Fall open your joints and meridians and Jin Ye, fluids and mucous membranes.
I recommend anyone recovering from a sedentary modern life to getting as strong as you can once a year, refining the deepest structures and reservoirs of your Jing, Mojo, and adaptability every year.
Although these practices are meant to take Qi Gong to a very high (Monastic) level of interaction, they are also profoundly beneficial if you can commit to a ‘Monastic’ or a daily immersive practice, who may be recovering from a chronic illness, trying to conceive a child or improve sensual Vitaly, or improve the longevity of your brain, your mojo, and your Sacred Existence.
If you are primarily interested in this aspect of Qi Gong, contact me. There will be a program for a Fitness focused Shaolin Warrior Qi Gong Program available in the next year.